English Matters. College of Arts and Sciences. Washington State University.

Undergraduate Student Spotlight

CAS 2021 Outstanding Seniors in English

Allyson Pang

Pullman Campus: Allyson Pang of Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, who loves to read slam poetry and edit videos, is the 2022 magna cum laude graduate of WSU with her bachelor of arts degree in English, creative writing, and multimedia journalism. 

When one reads her news stories or a piece of her slam poetry or watches a video she edited—such as her collaboration that was done with Hannah Levy last year, titled “In the Pause” through EcoArts on the Palouse—they can see Pang’s heartfelt passion for writing. She has served as editor-in-chief of the WSU literary journal LandEscapes, worked as a writing consultant in the University’s writing center, represented WSU at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference, and interned with Adult Friends for Youth’s digital design department. Furthermore, Pang won the WSU Campus Civic Poet Award and the First Place Raw Take Award for Spoken Word from The Artists’ Forum in New York, and her book design was selected for the cover of Poetics for the More-than-Human World, An Anthology of Poetry and Commentary (Spuyten Duyvil Press). Aside from achieving the honor of being named WSU Campus Civic Poet, Pang has worked tirelessly to help the voices of minorities—including Hawaiians like herself and other Asian-American/Pacific Islanders—be acknowledged, appreciated, and celebrated by the general population. Currently, she has an internship with AsAmNews, a nonprofit Asian-American-specific news outlet, wherein she recently published an article about a mixed martial arts fighter who turned to poetry.

“No amount of slam poetry and prose could express how much I appreciate all of the support I’ve received from family, friends, and professors here at WSU,” Pang said. “I find new ways to love writing and keep doing it through all of you. You make writer’s block worth dealing with! Mahalo nui loa iā ʻoe to you all.”

Amanda Mottershead

Global Campus: Amanda Mottershead’s journey to get into college as an adult learner was difficult. When she enrolled as a teenager, she didn’t have the drive to keep going, and she eventually dropped out with a low GPA (grade-point average). Ten years later, Mottershead decided to go back and was turned down because her grades from previous studies were too low. To improve her GPA and overall academic record, Mottershead enrolled in a community college, where she diligently maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA. When it was time to start her third year, she decided to apply to the WSU Global Campus, where she was admitted based on her recent hard work.

Mottershead noted that when she wants something, she goes all out to get it. While maintaining a 3.96 GPA since coming to WSU, Mottershead has been working 50 hours per week and raising four children. Moreover, she is a proud member of the WSU Chapter of the Tri-Alpha Honor Society, an organization for first-generation college students. One of the reasons she has worked so hard to get her degree through WSU was to become the first member of her family to graduate from college and inspire her children to do the same.

Mottershead currently works in retail but is now pursuing a career in library science since earning her BA degree in English through WSU’s Global campus. She plans to work remotely as an online editor while pursuing a master’s degree in library information science. Mottershead said that because of the opportunities the WSU Global Campus provided, she has all the skills and resources she needs to continue on the path to achieving her goals.